I get the impression that most people outside of Local Search see it as only for small businesses that serve markets where purchases are relatively low cost (say up to the cost of re-modelling a bathroom).
I was looking at some internal stats today and found some very interesting data.
A specialist (and very high cost) service that we promote for a company (which they send people to the client almost anywhere in the world) is still attracting over 25% of searches with a local identifier (from PPC data, we put local stuff in to test).
It seems people are getting used to putting in a locality and even do it when it makes less sense to.
Sure. Start with the big DMAs and create landing page strucutures condusive to geo tendencies. at minimum grapping geo qualifiers for companies, non-local, local, whatever, is for many a "why not" consideration.
and as an aside note, i don't know a single local internet marketing company that does not make the majority of their revenues through LARGE companies.
There are no doubt larger spending advertisers that take advantage of local search and have for years (real estate, lawyer, etc). In fact this is what many at WebmasterWorld have exploited for years. Itís the much easier and more profitable low hanging fruit in optimization and PPC.
The "hype" and discussion, however, given to local search in the past 1.5 years is related to the massive (10 - 20 million) SME market moving into this advertising medium. In aggregate, that is where the big dollars will be.
In the end, when you get down to brass tacks, everyone starts with the most profitable advertisers (which happen to be roughly the same in the print yellow pages).